July 28th, 2005
Skippy got the bandages and stitches removed yesterday. His left hindpaw looks like it had a poodle cut or something. But it's healing very well, and he certainly is happy to be able to come and go again as he pleases. And last night, seeing him emerge from and disappear into the shadows as he came trotting up the stairs, I realized how much I missed that sight of him. Yeah!
Peaty's weight seems stable, and we keep giving him Nutri-Cal and other goodies, but he is breathing harder and harder. We might try him on the Baytril and Oxycycline again, but I don't know if they work when given sporadically. Or I might try to give him a rescue shot. See, I've heard of people who had to give their cats insulin or hydration shots, and the cat came to really like it. I don't think that will happen with Peaty. But we'll see. It was the way he squeaked when they poked him that made me a little nervous. Sigh.
Jane is off with a couple kid friends, so I have the house to myself. And what will I do with this untold luxury? Probably sort my CDs. And some office tidying. (What if you were a vampire with SAD?)
At one point I knew how I got from "office tidying" to "vampire with SAD."
Um, what else? Adam (RC editor) might have something for me later today. I'm supposed to call him if I don't hear from him. I finished "The AP Guide to Photojournalism" yesterday. In amongst all the regular "tell a different story" and "empathize with your subject" kind of thing, it had a fair amount of practical advice that I wrote in my photo daybook.
I've looked at lots of books by photographers, and books of photography, but so far I've resisted buying or looking at how to books. It's an old syndrome, that I buy tons of books about a subject that I think I'm interested in, and get so wound up in the books that I forget to actually pursue the craft (this happened especially with paper marbling and origami). Or, if I am pursuing the craft (i.e., physical theater/clowning) a book will give me such painful daydreams of the mountaintop that I can't climb the foothills. Or, in another metaphor, "the river runs shallow when you fall in love with the sea."
I sometimes wonder how I wound up here. Is it that I love photography more than anything else I've tried? Not that I can tell. Is it more challenging, does it reach deeper into my soul? No, in many ways it feels easier than clowning or writing sf. I sometimes think the most important difference between photography and earlier artforms I've pursued is that now I've learned lessons about persistence.
And, inside photography, why photojournalism? I can remember two times when a more experienced photographer looked at the D70 and kit lens and said "Well, that's all you need, right there." Other types of photography -- landscape, architecture, fashion, fetish, whatever -- feel overplayed to me. I might like the pictures I take, and might like the pictures that other people take, but the subject matter doesn't move me much.
With fashion/fetish, there's a strong degree of envy: Nice work if you can get it. Also, I'm too conscious of the number of people just outside the frame; at least five: assistant, stylist, makeup, photographer, dresser. Between capturing the image and publishing it, there are art directors, editors, production assistants, and more.
It boils down to, I guess, what can I do now, to get myself into a situation where I'm taking pictures? Well, talk a local weekly desperate for volunteers into taking me on. (Actually, I don't think Real Change is desperate for volunteers, because it's such a feel good about yourself thing to do.) And then, soon, I'll be able to take the photos and experience and approach paying markets. (It helps that there is a big election season coming up, the 2005 city council elections and the 2006 midterms. Maria Cantwell, who has far from distinguished herself, is up for re-election, and I think the national Republicans are going to get behind her opponent quite heavily.)
When I was younger, I thought persistence was something only necessary before one's stories started being published. No, persistence exists every step of the way; it includes picking oneself up after the great work has been published and someone has rubber stamped MISSED OPPORTUNITY in huge red letters all over it. Persistence comes from putting yourself into the situation where you are insecure and doubting; where you worry about fucking up. Persistence comes from saying "yes." Not letting the bindun bird distract you, not listening to the self-doubting voices that say "you always shoot yourself in the foot. Here, have a gun."
Wishing strength and wellness to you and Peaty.
Well, thank you. I appreciate it.
Jane heard another trick that might work: mixing the medicine with whipping cream. Hah! So far, so good, in fact, he lapped a whole bunch.
I think I want a t-shirt that says Missed Opportunity on it.